Matthew Clarkeus (Pokemon World Championship Qualifier 2023)


In an effort to provide a glimpse into the elusive realm of Pokemon World Championships, Pokemon Dashboard has created a series to meet successful Pokemon TCG players and talk to them about their experiences!


Pokemon Regional Championships

A glimpse into the Pokemon TCG Journey with insight provided by Matthew Clarkeus.


This personal conversation is part of the ” World Pokemon TCG Players” series – exclusive interviews with successful Pokemon TCG players all around the world and their experiences with Championships.


Interview with Matthew Clarkeus

 Tell us a little about your journey in the Pokemon world. 

What do you love most about the community?

I started playing Pokémon 9 years ago casually. The biggest pull into the game for me was the community aspect. Just like any other social club, I could go to my local card shop and make new friends. 

This was great because I could make friends with other like-minded kids that I would’ve never found at my school. 

Even 9 years later, I love being able to go to an event and see all my friends time and time again. It makes each event special and I’m so thankful for the friends I’ve made by playing this game. 


Why is it a good idea to start playing the game? 

How has it changed your life thus far?

Pokémon actually changed my life a lot. With Pokémon, I was able to get a job at the same card store I started going to when I was 10. This has helped fund my trips and allow me to travel the world. Without Pokémon, there are many amazing places I would’ve never gotten to visit. 

It’s a good idea to start playing the game because Pokémon is so accessible now. Even the top tier meta decks do not cost that much and there’s perfect meta decks that are perfect for beginners to learn and get better with. 

Furthermore, there are an incredible amount of resources available online on YouTube, Twitch and Metafy which are perfect for beginnings to understand the game and get better. 

       For those who are getting started and overwhelmed with the Pokemon TCG game 

What’s your best advice?

I’d say for those just getting into it, my advice is to take it one game at a time. No one becomes a world champion after a week and it’s important to remember to have fun. 

                  Just keep playing and natural progression will help you along the way! 

What are your social media goals in the short term and long term when it comes to your presence in the Pokemon Universe?

I love social media, all of my friends know that too! I love being able to share my experiences and reaching out to others. I’ve recently started streaming on Twitch and would love for that to be the next big thing for me! 

Where can we follow you on social media?

You can follow me on Twitter(X) at @ClarkePTCG and Twitch at ClarkePTCG

Pokemon TCG Tips and Tricks

               How many hours do you play per week?

I play around 20-25 hours a week just before a big event. This ensures I know my deck inside and out and can minimize the amount of mistakes I may have.

This is a big part of succeeding at events and the tournaments are here I played decks where I knew the matchups well are the ones where I succeeded the most.

When you first search your deck, do you have any strategies for quickly figuring out what’s in your prizes or do you only look for key cards?
On your first turn deck search, it’s important to gain as much knowledge as possible as this should influence your decisions during your games. When I play decks such as Arceus, I mainly check my energy, Pokémon lines, and supporters like boss’ orders.

Some decks need more thorough deck searching like lost box, which requires knowledge of energy counts, super rod, mirage gates and Pokémon.

A good tip for this is just practicing prize checking. Set out a solo game by yourself and work through the motions of your first turn. Try and work out as many prizes as possible and then flip them over to check. Rinse and repeat! 

In your opinion, what are your top essential “tech” cards in any deck? (ie. Manaphy, Jirachi, Drapion, etc.)

Teching can be very difficult as it requires almost meta calling at events. I’ve had times where meta calling hasn’t worked, playing double Drapion at Liverpool for example. Times where it has worked like playing Mawile at Lille. 

I don’t think teching is essential because sometimes it can just mean you’re playing 1 less good card in your deck. However, some people tech cards have great consistent merit, like Manaphy for example due to the plethora of decks using radiant Greninja.


Approximately, how much money do you think it would cost for someone to make it to a World Championship? 

(Flight, stay, how many tournaments it takes to qualify) 
Or in your personal experience, your regional tournaments!

I qualified in 2023 where most of my points had to be gained from regionals and internationals. I traveled to 7 regionals, 2 international and worlds itself.

All in all this cost just shy of £10K but in future seasons I can see this becoming much less because of the return of local events. 

If you do well at these events you can also be be reimbursed with cash prizes and travel awards which make this number lower.

As I see it, aim for the stars and see where you land. Just make sure to have fun!